Mosquitoes are a type of fly. They are most known for biting humans and sucking their blood. Because mosquitoes bite multiple people and/or animals and drink the blood from each one, they can easily become infected with diseases themselves and pass those diseases on to the next person or animal they bite.

Many of the diseases transmitted by mosquitoes are extremely dangerous, such as malaria, West Nile Virus and Zika Virus. Their role in spreading dangerous diseases and infections makes mosquitoes the deadliest animal family in the world.

Physical Characteristics & Life Cycle

Mosquitoes are generally easy to identify:

  • They have a long proboscis they use to drink nectar (males and females) or blood (females).
  • They have long, thin legs.
  • They have a pair of wings.
  • Their bodies are covered by fine scales.
  • Males and females can be identified by their antennae. Males have feathery antennae and females have straighter antennae.

Mosquitoes need water in order to reproduce. They prefer stagnant, brackish water with organic debris in it to lay their eggs. The water source can be a naturally-occurring one, like a puddle, or a man-made one, like an old tire with water in it.

Mosquitos have a very distinct life cycle that is separated into clear phases:

  • Egg: Eggs are generally laid in or near water in groups of 100-300. Female mosquitoes can lay up to 10 batches of eggs in their lifetime.
  • Larvae: Larvae are aquatic and spend all their time in water. They are air-breathing so they breathe through tubes or a siphon. This requires them to regularly visit the water surface. Some types of larvae are predatory, while others eat algae and bacteria. They have a characteristic “wriggling” motion to their movement which makes them easily identifiable.
  • Pupae: After they are large enough, they form a pupae at the water’s surface. Upon exiting the pupae, they dry themselves on the surface of the water until they can fly away.
  • Adult: Mosquitoes can go through the egg, larvae and pupae stages in as little as 1-2 weeks. In certain situations, like cold weather, they can delay the onset of adulthood by many months. Male mosquitoes only live for 1-2 weeks after leaving the water, while females can live for 1-2 months. Females use the blood they drink to produce their eggs.

Disease Transmission

Why do mosquitoes transmit diseases?

Female mosquitoes bite people or animals and suck their blood so they can use the protein in the blood to produce their eggs. One female can lay up to 10 batches of eggs during her lifetime, so she will bite multiple people and animals to get the protein she needs to make her eggs.

If a person or animal is infected when the female bites it and takes some of its blood, then she will become infected herself and spread the infection to any other people or animals she bites.

List of diseases mosquitos spread

Mosquitoes are primary vectors for the spread of many dangerous diseases, including:

  • malaria
  • yellow fever
  • Chikungunya
  • West Nile virus
  • dengue fever
  • filariasis
  • Zika virus
  • Other arboviruses

Pest Activity

While mosquitoes can spread dangerous diseases (and do so frequently in other parts of the world), in the United States they are mainly just an outdoors nuisance. Most people will get a mild reaction to a mosquito bite, but nothing serious.

What proof. Professionals Do To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes

Active pest control is important to prevent mosquitoes from reproducing rapidly and infesting your yard and the area immediately around your home. Our special Mosquito/Tick Control Service reduces mosquitoes by 90% by removing or treating any potential breeding locations, killing active adults and reducing or removing areas for mosquitoes to hide/rest in like long grass.

 

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